What to Expect from Inpatient Depression Treatment: An Overview

Thoughtful african american man sitting on couch looking out of window in living room

Depression has many faces.

These faces create a spectrum of experiences that span worldwide. Some faces of depression cloak themselves in irritability and restlessness. Others manifest as a retreat from the world, where isolation becomes a refuge from overwhelming feelings of sadness.

While depression may look different from person-to-person, it holds a common thread of internal torment: a battle fought silently in the depths of the mind.

Let’s look at some statistics:

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. WHO estimates that approximately 280 million people globally have depression, and that number is rising.

Depression ranges in severity from mild to moderate to severe. Severe depression can lead to significant impairment and even suicidal thoughts or behaviours. Please understand that depression is not a sign of weakness – it is a mental health disorder. Seeking professional help is a vital step towards recovery.

The good news?

Depression is highly treatable through a combination of evidence-based therapies. The advancement of mental health awareness has led to a wealth of resources that empower individuals to recover from depression.

For some people, the intensity of their symptoms may require an inpatient treatment program. 

Inpatient treatment centres offer a higher, more customised level of support and provide a structured environment to help address the multifaceted nature of depression.

If you’re wondering what to expect from an inpatient depression treatment centre, you have come to the right place.

What to expect from an inpatient depression treatment centre

Comprehensive assessment and personalised treatment plans

Upon admission to an inpatient depression treatment centre, you will first complete a comprehensive assessment. The assessment will include information about your mental health history, current symptoms, medical background, and any prior treatment.

Mental health professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers then collaborate to gain a holistic understanding of your “whole self”  to formulate the best course of action.

Based on your assessment, a personalised treatment plan is created. This plan is tailored to address your specific needs. It may include a combination of therapies designed to provide the most comprehensive care.

Structured daily routine

One key feature of inpatient depression treatment centres is a structured daily routine. Research suggests that creating and sticking to a daily routine is essential for your mental health.

If you struggle with depression, then you know that a lack of motivation makes it difficult to do the tasks you need to do each day and to maintain healthy habits. A structured daily routine is important because it offers both a sense of stability and predictability.


The daily schedule may involve activities like:

Structured routines work well for those with depression because they establish a sense of normalcy and order.

Individual therapy sessions

In the midst of depression’s isolating grip, talking to someone who cares can be a gamechanger.

One-on-one therapy sessions provide individuals with a safe space to explore their thoughts, feelings, and challenges with an experienced therapist. Most inpatient treatment centres use therapies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) to treat depression.

During one-on-one therapy sessions, your therapist can help you address underlying issues that may contribute to your depression. They can also help you work on areas such as:

  • Identifying negative thought patterns
  • Confronting past trauma
  • Learning positive coping skills

There are many benefits to attending individual therapy sessions at an inpatient depression treatment centre, which include being away from everyday distractions, intensity, continuity, and 24/7 support. 

Group therapy and support

Group therapy sessions are a cornerstone of inpatient depression treatment. Working with a group allows you to connect with others who are facing similar challenges. Sharing experiences and giving and receiving support from others can be extremely therapeutic, but it also provides a sense of community.

Sometimes, simply realising you’re not alone and that others struggle with the same thoughts and feelings is enough to help you take steps toward healing. Group therapy reduces feelings of isolation and encourages insights from various perspectives. 

Often, a support network that is formed in an inpatient environment extends far beyond someone’s time at a treatment centre.

Medication management

Medical detox in addition to treatment - Centres for Health and Healing

For some people, medication is an essential part of their depression treatment plan. 

In an inpatient setting, psychiatric professionals closely monitor medication adjustments or changes. Medication management involves not only prescribing appropriate antidepressants but also educating patients about potential side effects and the importance of taking the medications exactly as prescribed.

Beyond the clinical aspect, medication management forms a bridge to holistic healing, which often helps an individual’s receptiveness to other therapeutic interventions.

Holistic approaches and therapeutic activities

In addition to traditional therapies such as individual and group therapy, inpatient depression treatment centres often incorporate holistic approaches and therapeutic activities. Some examples of these holistic approaches include:

  • Art therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Expressive writing
  • Mindfulness meditation
  • Recreational activities
  • Physical exercise
  • Yoga and movement therapy
  • Breathwork
  • Nutrition education
  • Social skills training

Therapeutic activities provide outlets for self-expression, relaxation, and education. They are often tailored to an individual’s needs and preferences.

Family involvement and education

female counselor writing in clipboard on therapy session of family with daughter in office

Recognising that depression’s impact extends far beyond the individual, engaging the family in the treatment process can provide a unified support system. This is why inpatient treatment centres may involve family members or loved ones in the process.

Family therapy sessions allow for open communication and the resolution of any conflicts that may contribute to the person’s depression. Additionally, family members provide a unique perspective on an individual’s history, triggers, and strengths, which aid in the depression treatment plan.

Some inpatient depression treatment centres offer family members education about depression, its symptoms, and effective ways to provide support for their loved one.

Transition planning and aftercare

As the inpatient treatment program nears its end, the focus shifts to preparing individuals for a successful transition back to their everyday lives. A thorough aftercare plan is created, which includes recommendations for continued therapy, outpatient treatment, medication management, and community resources.

Transitioning from the structured environment of an inpatient centre to independent living can be challenging. With a well-designed aftercare plan and ongoing support, you will be better equipped to manage potential triggers and maintain the progress you have made.

Who would benefit from inpatient depression treatment?

Inpatient depression treatment is recommended for those experiencing severe and debilitating symptoms of depression that significantly impair their ability to function. Here are some criteria that may indicate someone would benefit from inpatient depression treatment:

1. Severe symptoms

Severe symptoms of depression include intense feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and despair. If these symptoms are so severe that they interfere with daily functioning, inpatient treatment should be considered.

2. Risk of harm or suicide

If a person is expressing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, has a plan, or has made past suicide attempts, inpatient treatment can provide a controlled and supportive space to prevent risk of harm.

3. Lack of response to outpatient treatment

If someone has been engaged in outpatient therapy but hasn’t shown any significant signs of improvement, they may need to consider a higher level of care like inpatient treatment.

4. Co-occurring disorders

Those with co-occurring mental health disorders or substance use disorders along with depression may require inpatient treatment to fully address the complexities between these conditions so they can achieve lasting recovery.

5. Unstable living environment

Those without a stable and supportive home environment or those who lack a reliable support system may benefit from around-the-clock care that is provided in an inpatient setting.

The bottom line

Senior counsellor with clipboard talking to a woman during group therapy

When the weight of depression becomes unbearable, seeking help becomes an act of courage and self-compassion. Stepping through the doors of an inpatient depression treatment centre signifies embracing hope for the future.

From the comprehensive assessment that shapes the roadmap to the structured routine that offers stability, every facet of the experience is designed to nurture long-term healing. Through this intricate web of care, you will learn how to not only live, but to thrive.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, know that you are not alone, and that help is available.

How can Centres for Health and Healing help?

Centres for Health and Healing provides personalised mental health treatment to clients from all over the globe.

We understand that the journey towards mental health well-being may be complex, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Our dedicated team of experienced professionals is committed to helping you towards recovery and growth.

Your journey towards recovery starts with a single step – reaching out for help. Don’t let fear or uncertainty hold you back any longer. You deserve a life of joy and purpose.

Contact our team today to see how we can help you.

Call now
Ready to get help?
Call for treatment options
Need financing?
Payment plans available